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Loss of an Absent Dad

9 Aug

If you know my story then you know that I am the youngest of 4 girls raised by our divorced Mom. My parents were married for approximately 11 years before it ended in divorce. Prior to that, they agreed to raise our foster sister & brother totaling 6 children that my Mom had to raise alone. My Dad was Robert Lee Christie Jr and he recently passed away which was a huge surprise to the entire family.

My Dad was absent from all of his responsibilities concerning his children. This is fact. There is no way to make it pretty nor sugar coat it. It is what it is. Growing up I was first hurt then the hurt turned to anger as well as a complete mistrust to men. I felt that if my own flesh and blood Daddy didn’t stay and love me then why would anyone else? As frustrated and angry as I was with my Dad ~ I loved him.

Once I made the decision (with God’s help) to forgive him and accept him for who he was, that pain began to subside. I wasn’t able to get there though until I married and had a child of my own. Although I still didn’t get it ~ I allowed myself to settle on a numb state concerning my Dad. The few times we saw him growing up when we did see him ~ it was as if not a moment had passed. He would grab us up in his arms and love & hug on us which soothed that yearning we longed for – no matter how short lived it was.

NOTE: This blog isn’t about my magnificent Mom but I have to add this advice to single Mom’s out here. Do NOT think you are punishing the ex by keeping your kids away from him nor his family. It really softens the blow from the child’s perspective when Dad is absent but you have “his” family. She made sure that we had the tremendous gift of our Grandma & Grandpa Christie a long with our HUGE family of aunts, uncles & cousins.

I only have a few memories with my Dad growing up; however I have many memories of our summer stays at our Grandparents home in Michigan along with our cousins from all over the country. It was therapeutic for me to have my aunties & uncles love on me. Internally I told myself this was an extension of my absent Dad.  As frustrated and angry as I was with my Dad ~ I loved him.

When I received the message from my Auntie to call her. It never dawned on me that it had to do with my Dad but I figured it was pretty important. When she told me that Daddy had been rushed to the hospital the only thing I felt was numbness. I began to pray for him and let my sister’s know what was going on. As we got the word from my cousin that we needed to get there, I still felt numb. As we walked into the hospital room after he had passed it hit me like a ton of bricks. That hope is gone. He would never have the chance to get it totally right with his girls. As angry and frustrated as I was with him – I held onto the inkling of “hope.” As long as he had breath in his body – there was hope. Now here he lies…… The numbness turned into tears of sadness, of hopelessness, of pain yet love. No anger anymore. My Daddy was lying there.

When we went to his home, which we had never been to, my niece and I were a little spooked and felt very uncomfortable. As we began to explore where he lived, we found ourselves in his room. As soon as the door was open and light turned on we saw EVERY aspect of our lives revealed in pictures on his wall and in approximately 10 picture books full to capacity. My heart smiled because he did care. He did love us. We mattered. We had worth. Daddy had pictures of instances in our lives where he wasn’t present. It still remains a mystery to us how he got them. This healed a lot of things for me. Over the next couple of days, I cleaned the very bed my Dad fell ill in and comforted his wife. How was I able to do that? I know our Mom was praying for us. One of the things she told us when we got the news was “Honor your Dad.”

God gave me the strength that I didn’t even know that I possessed. In Daddy’s death, I found complete forgiveness therefore I am healed. Robert Lee Christie Jr may  not have been a present Dad but I rejoice in what he was good at. What he was good at was picking a MAGNIFICENT woman to raise his children. And God placed us in one of the greatest families one could only dream of. So ~ the loss of an absent Dad STILL hurts and is very hard. Why? Because I always loved him.

 

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Taming Negative Thoughts

23 Oct

As an Indie artist, you always experience a high level of anxiety when releasing new music. Many have said before that as an artist our songs are like our babies and that stands very true. You have to resolve to the fact that what God has given you isn’t for everyone and that’s ok as long as you stay true to your gift & call. Those who you’ve been assigned to will get it.

As I was planning for my release concert, I began to receive many inbox messages, texts and calls telling me “Sorry Sis, I won’t be able to make it.” One of my key supporters had been in the hospital and wouldn’t be able to assist with the concert. Even when I attempted to call my Mom to talk out my anxiety – even she – was not available. I laid in my bed and tears began to fall.

Let’s keep it real in this moment. I’m sure many will say well you are only singing for “God” or you have an audience of “One”. And as true as that is, one still feels the need to feel supported. So how do you rid yourself from those negative thoughts?

As I lied in my bed feeling a little defeated, I had a conversation with God. And as He directed my thoughts I began to audibly speak the words He was speaking to me. He said “I have called you and everyone present I have ordained to be there. Peace be Still.” The morning of the concert as my hubby covered me in prayer HIS words came to me again. “Peace be Still”

The peace that overtook me from that moment on was remarkable. When you KNOW your purpose in God ~ it doesn’t matter what naysayers think, it doesn’t matter who is with you and who isn’t. There will be times when you feel low and defeated but ALL you have to do is quiet your spirit and have a conversation with God and HE will quiet that storm within you.

The night of my release two my sisters commented on how calm and relaxed I was. Little did they know the raging storm that God had just spoken within my heart, mind and spirit. I was walking in the “PEACE” of God.

In the end, those that I thought would be there weren’t; however those who I’d NEVER suspect were there and I rejoice in the Lord because He ALWAYS knows what is best. I pray that God was pleased with the offering given unto Him. I only need to be pleasing in His sight.

“No matter how I feel..Go ~ to a place I’ve never been before..Go ~ spread the Gospel to the World till it reaches every nation..Go ~ wherever You say Go I will Go”

Connect with Trish Standley on social media @TrishStandleyMusic or visit www.trishstandley.com

 

Breaking FREE!!!

21 Sep

I remember when I started the beginnings of my music ministry journey and how I really didn’t want to do this. For several reasons, one being I didn’t want to be out here alone. I preferred singing with groups & choirs and secondly it was terrifying to share my most intimate thoughts through songs with others. After unsuccessfully hiding from God, I finally surrendered once God dried up my gifting.

Once I began to do things God’s way, I found this overwhelming feeling of being FREE. I’ve shared this story several times and I’ve always looked at it as something in my past. WELL, I’ve noticed that through the years, I’ve continued to stall God. I stall God because when He says to “move” I’ve sat on Him. One of the songs on my latest project “No One Else” there is a track called “Go.” In that song, it encourages the listener to Go ye therefore, teach all nations, spread the gospel everywhere, where You lead me I will follow You. Here I am Lord, please use me, let Your glory shine through me, I’m available to be used by You.” Even in singing this song in hopes that it inspired others to be about Our Father’s business, I only recently found evidence that I was doing it again. (Lord, help me).

God was pressing me to make a decision and I allowed relationship to deter me from that. He was trying to take me into a different direction BUT because I didn’t see or “trust” it (Lord have mercy) I attempted to stay with what I knew. Because of this, God didn’t dry up my gifting this time but he dried up my opportunities. There was a HUGE stall in getting this next project done & put out. Just about every roadblock I could face I hit.

Ultimately, I’m at this crossroad again and the decision was made. Although I experienced the emotions of anxiety, fear, panic and sadness – I had no choice but to trust God. Almost immediately, doors and opportunities began to present themselves to me. God even went as far as to reveal persons who my ministry had been a blessing to, to me. And I believe that it was His way of confirming within me that He was in the mix.

Moral of the story: Breaking FREE doesn’t always feel such as that – while in the process. Actually you will feel quite the opposite; however IF you trust God and His leading – He will reveal Himself in the process. You have to just “trust” God & “GO.”

Trish Standley is a Gospel Recording Artist and Radio Host of “Style with Trysh” which airs every Sunday 6-7 PM EST on http://www.stylewithtrysh.us ~ visit www.trishstandley.com for ALL things Trish

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What’s Going On?

9 Jul

I was born and raised in a small town in Indiana called “Kokomo” by a single mother with 5 sisters and 1 brother. We were the only black family in our neighborhood therefore, I and my sisters were THE only of our kind in our class during our elementary (Pettit Park) and middle school (Lafayette) years.

What did that mean for us? A LOT of fighting that is. I am going off of my memory so my sisters may have had different experiences. I remember that fighting came easy for me because a lot of times the kids that called me out of my name were at the same time afraid of me. They “assumed” I could fight. #perk

As the youngest, I remember how my older sisters had to do MORE fighting and made it known NOT to mess with those Christie girl’s. So I didn’t have to fight as often or as much as they did but I still had to fight. I remember fighting during recess because someone called me out of my name and instead of Mr. Russell (our principal) sending me home – he made me sit in the office until school was out. That walk home was a long one because I just KNEW when I got home Jan Houston-Christie was gonna BEAT ME DOWN!!! But instead silence. NOTHING. Mr. Russell never called her.

Mr. Russell had no idea how much he saved me but as an adult I realize something. I think he knew if he called my Mom – I’d get in trouble. But why? For defending myself against being called a derogatory, demeaning and revolting name. I think he spared me out of some level of understanding. I don’t think Mr. Russell could understand ALL the way but he sympathized with my situation. NOW – if Mr. Russell was prejudice himself not only would he have called Jan but he would have paddled me (we got those in school back in the day). But he didn’t do that. He didn’t even give me a tongue lashing…He just told me to go sit. I’ll never know if Mr. Russell ever addressed the students who called me names. Maybe he did…maybe he didn’t but what I appreciated  most of him was that he cared enough to show me sympathy. Don’t think he felt sorry for me but TRIED to understand what I was going through.

What’s going on?

Why is it that we cannot have this approach in society today? THE only 2 things that make us different are: 1) the color of our skin & 2) the way we are treated in this country. The question was asked to white society – if given the opportunity – would you trade places in society with a black person? IF you answer yes, then I believe it would show you things you NEVER knew existed. IF you say no, then that means you  obviously realize there is an issue. To my fellow brothers & sisters: How do you expect one to totally “understand” our stance IF they’ve never experienced it? The same way we need our white family to make an attempt to “sympathize” we also need to “understand” that they can’t see something that has never affected them. BOTH parties should exercise compassion.  To my white family – if we tell you that we’ve been stung by a bee and it hurts DON’T tell us “No it doesn’t” and don’t tell me “Well if you hadn’t been outside then you wouldn’t have been stung to begin with.” Neither of those comments erase the pain. It still hurts.

God created us ALL in His image so if a portion of God is being demeaned, disrespected and most importantly killed…then we as His creation should lay down our differences and seek out a solution. One of the solutions I see is we as “black Americans” need to first begin to love, respect and honor ourselves again. When we kill and defile ourselves it gives the “illusion” for others that it’s ok to do the same. Respect begats Respect!!!

Love is the solution and it starts in our individual worlds. Make a special effort to love on everyone in your day to day lives. Smile and offer a hello. Help someone even if they are apprehensive at first. Put it into your everyday practice and it will become routine.

I love you all!!! Remember that: LOVE isn’t love unless you GIVE it away

 

Gospel Recording Artist Trish Standley is also the host of the weekly show Style with Trysh ~ connect with All things Trish by visiting http://www.trishstandley.com 

 

 

He knows our weaknesses

31 May

I have been blessed to have friends/family in my life who allow me to “think out loud” those questions/crisis of beliefs in my life without being judged.

As I was talking/sharing with my sister/family/peer tonight, the discussion of bearing the weight of being a minstrel of the Gospel came up. We discussed the difficulty of balance when it comes to being our authentic selves, a messenger of God’s word and gospel recording artist. These are 3 entities of who ONE person is called to be and because of that….there are times when ministry becomes really difficult.

THE STRUGGLE: We have to remember who God has “uniquely” called us to be along with the “message” He’s “uniquely” called us to deliver. Often times, we begin to focus NOT on the things that we’ve “heard” but on what we “see OTHERS” doing, which takes us off course. Who did God call, Why did he call us, What message did He give us AND Who are we telling it too?

TRUTH: As minstrels, Lucifer can totally relate to our insecurities, competitive spirits and need to be accepted. He understands the need for fleshy reassurances that we struggle with, within our flesh. WHY does he know? Because he lived it AND because of this LONG list of insecurities they caused his failure and ultimately his fall from grace.

In our arrogance, low self esteem and competitive spirit we get caught up in who admires our vocal acrobatics, who yells the loudest and who has a “membership” in the clique instead. Reaching NO ONE. IF God called you then THIS requires a lot of wilderness work, not being accepted, not being received, not being popular, not being understood. NOTE: WHEN has one’s ability to do the most impressive RUN drawn an “unbeliever” to Christ?

“Anointed” ~ has become a word that MAN determines. God is the ONLY ONE who annoints and the Word of God states He does it according to the remanent in question. All are NOT called to minster to ALL such as minsters of God’s word; however IF we are in the presence of one who isn’t “called” to minister to us “per se” we as MAN want to strip that person from their “anointing”.

We as believer’s have to remember that “he knows our weakness” and will USE that against us. DON’T allow yourself to be used. ARTIST, MINSTRELS, WORSHIP LEADERS ~ don’t get caught up in the hype. You can be the most praised to man and still be the “fallen angel” Tear down the arrogance, separation and competitive spirit. IF kingdom work is what you’ve been called to do then that means CELEBRATE someone else whose operating & succeeding in THEIR call. Kingdom work IS  what is most important in this journey. Allow those who you are not assigned to draw to be drawn by those assigned and praise GOD of His mighty works.

We are only vessels.

Trish

Gospel Recording Artist

http://www.trishstandley.com

 

 

 

Who’s talking in your ear?

21 Apr

I don’t watch much t.v. and on the occasion that I do it is normally Law & Order or something that doesn’t require me to be series loyal.

One day I decided to take a couple of days off work because I was tired so I actually made myself sit down and watch some television. As I am channel surfing, I run across the show “Real Housewives of Atlanta.” Now normally I’d speed dial right past that show because one of my pet peeves is to watch women divided and being messy displayed for all the world to see. But I said no, let me see what all the hype is about.

As I am watching, I see how Kim Fields is being teased (underhandedly I might add) because she doesn’t drink and hang out because she says when she is not working she is all about her family. And this comes from a woman who desires what she has “a family.” I also see where Phaedra and Kandi (assumed good friends) have had a falling out or misunderstanding and has selected to sit down and talk about it. After tears have fallen, the air has been cleared and the ladies part ways. Kandi’s assistant enters the room and proceeds to talk Kandi down from getting past she & Phaedra’s “issue.” In the beginning Kandi defends Phaedra but he continues to tear Phaedra down to the point that Kandi is left scratching her head wondering if Phaedra was really being genuine.

This really bothered me when I saw this because my thoughts were: Why is he enjoying this division and Kandi is pregnant and she doesn’t need anymore “extra” drama.

It made me evaluate my dealings with people. Am I the Kandi or am I the one talking negativity in her ear? Anyone who speaks against forgiving another isn’t really your friend nor do they have your back. Forgiveness is something that we must do in order to live fulfilled lives. Think about that for just a moment. Forgiveness gives YOU freedom and will eventually bring YOU healing. What type of friend would not want that for YOU?

Whether you represent the “ear” or the “talker” be careful and allow yourself to have the final say. Influence can be a good thing; however if another person’s words are negative and cause division than you really should consider their motive.

Kandi and Phaedra may not ever fully restore their friendship; however that is between the two of them. Forgiving doesn’t mean that the friendship will remain at the same level as before; however it allows for the space and opportunity for a fresh new start.

So I ask, “Who’s talking in your ear?”

 

 

Bad Review

31 Mar

In 2011-12, I released my cd titled, “Redemption” and I was so excited because it was my first full cd and I believe (know) that I partnered with some of the best to create a well balanced product that conveyed the message that God had given me for that season.

As an independent artist, one of the tasks that we endure is “getting the word out” so I thought it wise to post on all my social media pages and email blasts to check out my music on Amazon and write a review. I was hoping that this would generate traffic to my music page. One of the habits that I exercise is the habit of googling myself and periodically checking sites where my music is sold. Since I was doing this campaign to get reviews I would check them more frequently than normal.

One day when I checked Amazon, I saw a review that said something like: Trish is a mediocre singer who would do better singing background vocals. And they went on to say that my music was not to their liking. Of course they posted anonymously so I had no clue who posted this. If you are familiar with any artists/musicians in your life then you know how extremely sensitive we are; therefore, you understand that I went into a world spin from this ONE review.

With the counsel of my hubby, family & close friends I decided to use that review as fuel. I decided that I am not meant for everyone and that may have VERY well been their truth. I needed to be reminded WHY I do what I do. There is purpose behind it and that isn’t meant for all. At the same time, I am still responsible to minister for the remnant that God has assigned me to minister to. Until He calls me home, I’ll continue in HIS way.

I viewed an awesome video recently where an artist shared that we all have different purposes, visions and plans given to us by God so we deny Christ when we compare ourselves to someone else’s success or even failure. Staying focused is tough BUT it is required to stay our course.

I wanted to share that review within this blog but when I went to cut and paste it, it was no longer there. That above everything else baffled me. It could be that with time reviews are deleted or the person who initially wrote it, deleted it. Who knows? It really doesn’t matter. I thank God for growth and as painful as it was THEN ~ I continue to use it as fuel NOW!!!

I’d like to encourage someone today that a “bad” review doesn’t have to paralyze you. Use that hurt, pain & embarrassment and turn it into charge. Get busy doing what GOD told you to do. #GO

Trish Standley is a gospel recording artist from Atlanta, GA and the host of Style with Trysh. Check out all things Trish by visiting www.trishstandley.com

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